Navneet Rana and her MLA husband Ravi Rana got bail in the Hanuman Chalisa row. The court has imposed some conditions such as they were asked to cooperate in the investigation and interrogation.
The court has also directed police to issue an advance notice of 24 hours to them. Another condition is that no trouncing or tampering be done with evidence. They may not give any sort of interview to the media. Hopefully, they will be released by this evening.
The Ranas were booked and arrested by Khar police station officials on April 23 for alleged offences of sedition and breach of harmony, after they declared their intention to chant the ‘Hanuman Chalisa’ outside Matoshree, the personal residence of Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, in Bandra (east).
The police reply, dated April 29, against the bail for the Ranas cited “media bytes” by the couple given between April 20 and April 23. The reply stated the remarks made by the Ranas “prove their criticism and comments are neither within reasonable limits nor consistent with the fundamental right of freedom of expression”. The plea had stated that their statements had hence come within the ambit of Section 124A (sedition) religious feelings of Hindus as having been violated or, if allowed, it would hurt religious feelings of citizens of other religions as it would show that only Hinduism is preferred in this republic state”.
On April 25, the couple moved to a session court, seeking bail through their advocate Rizwan Merchant. Their plea said that the announcement to recite ‘Hanuman Chalisa’ was made to enlist popular support and there was no intention to cause ill-will or feelings of hatred.